Three high school students who killed a young woman by throwing a rock through her car window returned to the scene of the accident to take a picture of her vehicle.
Alexa Bartell, 20, was killed when Joseph Koenig, Nicholas “Mitch” Karol-Chik, and Zachary Kwak, all 18, threw a garden stone through her windshield on April 19 in Arvada, Colorado.
The teens had launched several rocks at passing cars ahead of the one that hit Bartell at about 10:45 p.m.
A sheriff’s arrest affidavit released Thursday shows that after the deadly attack, Kwak told the others, “We need to go back and see that.” He then took a photo of the car, which had gone off the road, as a ‘memento’.
The sickening details were revealed when the three men appeared in court on Thursday on charges of first-degree murder with extreme indifference, meaning they were out to kill, but she didn’t care who. They were held without bond after their brief hearings.
Alexa Bartell, 20, was killed when a landscape rock was thrown through her windshield in Arvada, Colorado, on April 19
A photo reveals the damage done to Bartell’s car during the attack
Joseph Koenig, Nicholas ‘Mitch’ Karol-Chik and Zachary Kwak, all 18, all charged with murder
Prosecutor Padraic Emerine said: “This was an extremely reckless and irresponsible situation involving the Defendant, which unfortunately resulted in the death of a very innocent and very young woman in this case.”
A friend of the trio told police he had watched them several hours earlier as they loaded a truck with landscaping stones taken from a Walmart parking lot. The friend claimed the three boys picked up “as much as they could carry.”
He said he knew “something bad was going to happen,” so asked Koenig, Karol-Chik and Kwak to take him home.
The three alleged killers then patrolled roads in the area, looking for passing cars to target.
Kwak said they would use “maritime terms” when launching the rocks, adding, “Mitch would say things like ‘contact left,’ before Joseph threw the rock at a car to the left of theirs.” ‘
He said the rock that killed Bartell made a “really loud noise…like a rail gun” when it hit her windshield. A blood-stained rock was discovered next to the young woman’s yellow Chevy Spark.
Karol-Chik told police he said afterwards, “We have to go back and see that.” Kwak took a picture of the scene as a ‘memento’.
Koenig was described by a friend as someone who liked to create “chaos” and often acted destructively.
“Joseph and Mitch talked about being ‘blood brothers’ now and they never got to talk about the incident,” Kwak added.
The three met the next day to “get their stories straight.”
Karol-Chik and Kwak were interviewed by detectives and each gave different accounts as to who threw the rock. Koenig refused to talk to police.
According to the affidavit, one of the suspects said he felt “a hint of guilt” and revealed that the men had been tracked down using data from cell towers in the area.
After the attack that killed Bartell (pictured), Kwak told the others, “We have to go back and see that.” He then took a photo of the car, which had gone off the road, as a ‘memento’
Bartell was driving the Chevy Spark when a rock fell through the windshield
Police offered a $17,000 reward to apprehend Bartell’s killers
They had thrown rocks at vehicles about ten times since February. Six other cars were damaged and two more drivers injured the night Bartell was killed.
Lyft and Uber driver Nathan Tipton was unharmed after being targeted.
At a news conference on Tuesday, he told reporters he was heading south on Highway 93, close to the Jefferson County and Boulder County lines, at about 10:15 p.m.
“I saw two vehicles heading north, but I could only see the headlights, it was a dark road,” he said. ‘And then a big crush – it sounded like the blast of a shotgun. It scared me to death.’
He said he stopped immediately and saw that both windows on the driver’s side of his minivan were shattered.
‘It’s terrible. No one should lose their child for a random act of whatever this is,” he added.
A $17,000 reward had previously been offered for information.